Jack: I can’t recall that
By COREY CONNELLY Sunday, September 23 2012
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SUPPORT FOR PM: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar helpsbyoung moko jumbie walker Geneva Ruth, 4, keep her balance during the Police Youth Clubs' C...
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday evaded questions from reporters in relation to former Justice Minister Herbert Volney’s claim he tendered his resignation to her over the now infamous Section 34 scandal, some two and a half hours before learning he was, in fact, fired from the Cabinet in the PM’s televised address to the nation at 7 pm on Thursday.
“Mr (Jack) Warner (National Security Minister) attended the meeting I had with Justice Volney and I am sure he would have enough time after I leave to give you some details on that. Thank you very much,” she told reporters after delivering the feature address at the Police Youth Club’s Cultural Extravaganza 2012 at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya.
Persad-Bissessar then directed all questions relating to Volney’s claim and the controversial Section 34 Clause of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act to Warner, who also spoke at the event.
“Mr Warner attended the meeting with me and he will speak on that,” she said, before being whisked into her car after the event.
Warner then told reporters Volney’s claim did not constitute his version of the events.
“All I would say to you is that I was there when the Prime Minister met Mr Volney. I was there in the Cabinet meeting and what Mr Volney has said is not my recollection of the matter,” Warner said.
“What has been said is not my recollection of the matter and I would leave it like that. I would not like to say more on that at this stage.”
Volney, a former High Court judge, was fired from the Cabinet for his role in advocating for the early proclamation of the controversial Section 34 Clause of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act by August 31, the observance of the country’s 50th anniversary of Independence.
Although Section 34 has been repealed after heated debate in both Houses of Parliament two weeks ago, the Government has still come under fire for the fiasco, which would have seen businessmen Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh walk free on fraud charges arising out of the controversial Piarco Airport Development Project.
Yesterday, Warner admitted he visited Volney hours after his dismissal, but declined to give details of their discussion.
“I went to his home as my friend,” Warner said.
“I empathised with him. I spent a half an hour with him. We discussed certain matters. He made certain promises of how we will treat situations and I am waiting to see how that works out.” Warner also refused to comment on statements posted on the social media yesterday, in which Volney is purported to have warned Persad-Bissessar about the actions of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, whom many believe should have also been fired for the Section 34 issue. Volney is also purported to have told Persad-Bissessar that she should be wary of Ramlogan.
“I am aware of all kinds of things on the social media. I don’t respond to the social media. If I were to do that, I would do nothing else. So I do not respond to social media. I have never done that and I don’t intend to do it now,” Warner said, saying that, according to the MORI poll, only eight percent of citizens read social media.
Responding briefly to postings on social networking sites that a minister’s son had recently planassed an elderly person, Warner said, “I saw the video and the police have advised me that they are completing reports. When it is concluded I will make it public.”